Anyone who has visited an American playground in the last few decades knows exactly what to expect. A slide, some swings, monkey bars, maybe a teeter-totter. And any child who has been to the same playgrounds will know exactly how to play on them. It means they’re safe and functional but also a little dull.
Dan Schreibman had that revelation about a decade ago when his first child was born. Searching for a backyard play set, he found them to be basically the same—pretty boring. As his children got older, “they played on it for 20 minutes, but they’d play with the fallen tree there for six hours,” says Schreibman, a management consultant by profession and now a playground evangelist by calling.